Gunner Eric D Lay

24 Mar 1945

Eric Donald Lay was born and raised in Somerset. He served with 210 Battery, 53rd (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Light Regiment RA, after he was enlisted into the Royal Artillery during World War II.

He took off for Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine, in a Horsa Mk II from RAF Dunmow. The glider also contained Major GW Culley, his battery commander, Bombardier H Dickens, Lance Bombardier JE Lord, Lance Bombardier PHH Moore, and Gunner AB Cox. The main load was a wireless equipped jeep, trailer and two light weight motor cycles.

Unfortunately the glider was hit by anti-aircraft fire as it approached the landing zone and crashed 4000 metres to the north of DZ A. All the occupants were killed by machine gun fire.

Gunner Lay died on 24 March 1945, aged 19 years, and is now buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.

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Service History

Eric D Lay


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